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Monthly Archives: July 2009

The World as Image, with a Wikipedia Overlay?

Most of us think of the camera as a way to produce a picture, whether on a screen, film or paper.
But in fact the camera is increasingly the point, whether or not one ever produces a permanent picture. Cellphones are rapidly embracing “augmented reality” (the iPhone will be introducing it in September, and others already [...]

Gamma to Declare Bankruptcy

According to press reports the prestigious Paris-based photo agency Gamma, founded in 1966 by photographers such as Gilles Caron and Raymond Depardon, informed its employees yesterday that the agency will declare bankruptcy on July 30.
Gamma has featured an impressive roster of accomplished photojournalists over the years, including Caron, who disappeared in Cambodia in 1970 covering [...]

Of Neighbors and Citizen-Journalists

I find what is represented by this photograph to be extraordinarily troubling–a distinguished scholar in handcuffs led out of his own house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after a neighbor had reported him to the police as a possible burglar when he was only trying to break into his own home. The front door was jammed, he [...]

Of Cells and Cell Phones

Sometimes all this technology really does seem to make sense. The BBC has reported on a new add-on that is attached to a cell phone–a microscope–that can aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as tuberculosis and sickle-cell anemia in regions without ready access to clinics or doctors.
The flourescent or white-light microscope can be connected [...]

For Greater Image Credibility

In my After Photography book I outline a number of ways to employ the digital image differently, including ways to be more explicit as to the origins and possible meanings of the image. Given the never-ending discussions about digital retouching and a growing disbelief as to the authenticity of the contemporary photograph, I will repeat [...]

Code Green

There are serious efforts underway to develop barcode scanners for consumers that immediately rate a product on its nutritional value and its impact on health. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has just announced that it will be working with other massive retail chains, environmentalists, suppliers and academics to come up with a standardized “green” rating [...]

A New Visual Journalism

It seems about time to acknowledge that “photojournalism” is a twentieth-century term that is merging into,  due in large part to the Web, a more expansive twenty-first century “visual journalism.” Video, sound, text, interviews, panoramics, cellphones, sequential editing as well as still photographs are all part of the messy, emerging field of visual journalism.
What is [...]

The Alteration Fallacy

There seems to be a generalized sense that digitally manipulated photographs do “not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show,” as the New York Times put it (see post below). On the other hand, photographs that are not digitally altered are thought to reflect that reality–the obverse reasoning which may be even more dangerous.
What [...]

New York Times Apology

The New York Times Magazine has published photographs which they had announced in the article were made “without digital manipulation,” but now turn out to be otherwise. The Editors’ Note below is particularly interesting to me for two reasons: They do not publish the name of the photographer (wouldn’t they have published the name of [...]

Zen in the Art of HCB

Erica McDonald filed a response that I found moving to the post below, “Famous Photographers Tell How,” which is about a rare 1958 vinyl recording of several photographers explaining their approaches. She decided to transcribe the entire section where Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks and make it available on her website along with transcripts of several other [...]